A couple River Queen Launch Engine questions

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gwood64

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I have a couple questions for anyone that has built the little River Queen Launch engine. The first one concerns the crank disc. The drawing calls for a diameter of 3/4" and the pin to be offset by 5/16". This leaves barely enough material to drill a tap size hole for the 6-32 threads, and when the tap is run through it cuts through the outer surface. .375" minus .3125" only leaves .0625", a #36 drill is .106", and that only leaves .0095". I'm planning to make one more 7/8" diameter and adjust if need be, but it looks like there is plenty of room. I'm just curious what others have done here. Next is the precise location and timing of the intake and exhaust grooves of the rotary valve. I suppose I can figure it out when I get farther along. It just seems that the drawing and description of the operation is a little vague. I should say that the rotary valve in Rudy's Radial 5 caused me to doubt my ability to figure it out as well until I actually did it. So maybe that's all I really need to do.
 
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wce4

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gwood 64

I have also built the River Queen Launch Engine. I use a 5-40 tap for the crank pin hole on the crank and use a 5-40 die on the 1/8 dia. crank pin this work out fine with the 3/4" crank disk. The problem I am having is laying out the rotary valve. I have tried 3 different ways and I still cannot get this engine to run. Here is a copy of a post that I posted on here looking for help but no reply yet.

"Now I need some help with a steam engine I built from bar stock. Most of you on here most likely know about this engine. It is called the River Queen Open Column Launch Engine by edelstaal.
This is the second time I am trying to build this engine. The first time I tried to machine this engine I was 14 years old. I crash and burn on that try (Broke more taps and drill bits then I made parts). Well this time around, I complete every part and not one broken tap or drill bit, (I am a lot older than 14 now) but I can not under stand how to layout the rotary valve. I have tried three times making this valve. I tried cutting the groves at 180 deg apart, 90 deg apart and also this last attempt I found another person on this site who is also a newbie. He was building the LMS model steam launch engine and having a little trouble with it. He cut the first grove starting at 34 deg to 235 deg then the second at 129 deg to 324 deg. I also tried the same on my last valve, and still no luck. I can not get this engine to run. Does any one have a better drawing or layout for this valve then the one that came with the River Queen kit. I would love to get this engine running.

Just a last minute thought. Does it matter if you start the inlet grove at 34deg to 235deg then the exhaust at 129deg to 324deg. What would happen if you change it around. Would this mater?
I cut the grove with a 1/16" dia. end mill bit on a rotary table."

Did you figure out how to do it and get the engine to run? If so can you point me in the right Direction to get this engine to run.

Here is a photo of the engine. As you can see I made some changes, the valve is going to the front block next to the fly wheel, both blocks are made from cold roll steel (1018). I made a brass bushing to go into the back pillar block by the cylinder.
20180808_202339.jpg
20180808_202412.jpg
 

wce4

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I have a couple questions for anyone that has built the little River Queen Launch engine. The first one concerns the crank disc. The drawing calls for a diameter of 3/4" and the pin to be offset by 5/16". This leaves barely enough material to drill a tap size hole for the 6-32 threads, and when the tap is run through it cuts through the outer surface. .375" minus .3125" only leaves .0625", a #36 drill is .106", and that only leaves .0095". I'm planning to make one more 7/8" diameter and adjust if need be, but it looks like there is plenty of room. I'm just curious what others have done here. Next is the precise location and timing of the intake and exhaust grooves of the rotary valve. I suppose I can figure it out when I get farther along. It just seems that the drawing and description of the operation is a little vague. I should say that the rotary valve in Rudy's Radial 5 caused me to doubt my ability to figure it out as well until I actually did it. So maybe that's all I really need to do.
gwood 64

I have also built the River Queen Launch Engine. I use a 5-40 tap for the crank pin hole on the crank and use a 5-40 die on the 1/8 dia. crank pin this work out fine with the 3/4" crank disk. The problem I am having is laying out the rotary valve. I have tried 3 different ways and I still cannot get this engine to run. Here is a copy of a post that I posted on here looking for help but no reply yet.

"Now I need some help with a steam engine I built from bar stock. Most of you on here most likely know about this engine. It is called the River Queen Open Column Launch Engine by edelstaal.
This is the second time I am trying to build this engine. The first time I tried to machine this engine I was 14 years old. I crash and burn on that try (Broke more taps and drill bits then I made parts). Well this time around, I complete every part and not one broken tap or drill bit, (I am a lot older than 14 now) but I can not under stand how to layout the rotary valve. I have tried three times making this valve. I tried cutting the groves at 180 deg apart, 90 deg apart and also this last attempt I found another person on this site who is also a newbie. He was building the LMS model steam launch engine and having a little trouble with it. He cut the first grove starting at 34 deg to 235 deg then the second at 129 deg to 324 deg. I also tried the same on my last valve, and still no luck. I can not get this engine to run. Does any one have a better drawing or layout for this valve then the one that came with the River Queen kit. I would love to get this engine running.

Just a last minute thought. Does it matter if you start the inlet grove at 34deg to 235deg then the exhaust at 129deg to 324deg. What would happen if you change it around. Would this mater?
I cut the grove with a 1/16" dia. end mill bit on a rotary table."

Did you figure out how to do it and get the engine to run? If so can you point me in the right Direction to get this engine to run.

Here is a photo of the engine. As you can see I made some changes, the valve is going to the front block next to the fly wheel, both blocks are made from cold roll steel (1018). I made a brass bushing to go into the back pillar block by the cylinder.
20180808_202402.jpg
20180808_202425.jpg
20180808_202412.jpg

[
 

Prince991

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Did you ever figure out how to machine the valve? I’ve been looking at the plans for some time but the valve is beyond my understanding.
 

ddmckee54

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WCE4:

Never having built this engine and after looking at the picture of your engine and comparing it to the drawings, a couple of things just don't look right - but you said you made some changes. You didn't mention it, but you also appear to have flipped the direction that the rotary valve is installed. Couple of questions: 1) Did you keep the steam inlet on the original side - as per the drawings? 2) When you machined the grooves in the rotary valve did you machine them according to the drawings?

My guess is that by turning the rotary valve around the timing of the engine has been severely affected and the engine will never run with its' current timing. You should be able to get a running engine by making a new rotary valve. This engine was designed to be built without a lot of tools or complicated setups. You don't need to measure angles for valve timing, it can all done by scribing the valve block port locations onto the rotary valve. The instructions in the text aren't that clear, but by reading the text and combining it with the section views shown on the valve operation section of the drawing we can figure it out - I think!

I'm not going to call them Groove A and Groove B because that's just confusing, let's call them the steam groove and the exhaust groove - because that's what they do. Beyond that we're going to keep the same layout and names as the drawings, it'll make things simpler. You'll need to scribe the centerline of both the grooves onto the rotary valve, either by using the dimensions on the drawing, or by using the steam port and exhaust port to scribe the centerlines as described in the text.

I'm assuming that you kept the valve block steam inlet port in the same location, the port closest to the cylinder. That would mean that your steam groove will be the groove closest to the shoulder of the rotary valve.

The valve operation drawing shows us a section view thru the valve block and the rotary valve at 4 different piston locations: Position J - piston at TDC, Position K - crank at 90 degrees after TDC, Position L - piston at BDC, and Position M - crank at 90 degrees before TDC. Now for the tricky part, let's start with the steam groove, that will be the groove closest to the cylinder. The left side of the valve operation drawing is all about the steam side. You can see the steam groove, and more importantly you can see where that groove starts and stops in relation to the piston location. With the piston at TDC scribe through the port to the cylinder, onto the rotary valve to show where the steam groove should start. From the valve operation drawing you can see that the steam groove should start slightly before the piston reaches TDC. You should be able to look into the port to the cylinder on the valve block and with the piston at TDC the beginning of the steam groove should just be visible. The text says the grooves run halfway around the rotary valve, so make the steam groove look like the cross-section in the drawing.

The exhaust groove is the groove closest to the flywheel and its' operation is similar to the steam side, but its' start and stop points are different. According to the valve operation section the exhaust groove is just starting to open when the piston is at BDC. The exhaust groove also goes halfway around the rotary valve so make the groove look like what's shown in the valve operation drawing. Remember all those section views are looking from the cylinder towards the flywheel.

You should be able to look into the port on the valve block that goes to the cylinder and with the piston at TDC you should just be able to see the beginning of the steam groove. You should be able to rotate the crankshaft in a clockwise direction, when viewed from the cylinder looking towards the flywheel, and with the piston somewhere around halfway between BDC and 90 degrees before TDC the end of the steam groove should no longer be visible through the cylinder port of the valve block.

Looking into the exhaust port on the valve block, the exhaust groove should just start to become visible with the piston at BDC. The exhaust groove should remain visible until the piston is somewhere around halfway between TDC and 90 degrees after TDC.

These timing settings should get the engine running, it may not be at peak performance, but it should run. Every time you take the rotary valve off the crank shaft you are going to have to re-time the engine.

Don
 

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